A Short Study of Job 1:8
“A perfect and an upright man.”
This is the testimony of God himself concerning His servant Job: “There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil.” I cannot question these facts: Job was God’s servant. He feared God and hated evil. He was a perfect and upright man. These things do not describe Job’s actions, but the reigning characteristics of his heart, “for the LORD looketh on the heart.”
I know that Job was a perfect man, because God says he was. But I also know that he was not a sinless man in the flesh, because he confessed, “I have sinned” (Job 7:20). He said, “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: If I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse” (Job 9:20). The doctrine of sinless perfection in the flesh, (and those who claim to be without sin claim perfection), is contrary to everything revealed in the Word of God. Those who boast of possessing such perfection expose both their ignorance and their corruption. Those who suppose they are equal to the demands of the law of God are ignorant of the law. And these who claim to be perfect, without sin are vile, wicked, perverse men. They are liars, claiming what they know is false to be the truth, and declaring that God Himself is a liar (1st John 1:8-10). What can be more wicked?
What does the Bible mean when it uses the word “perfect” to describe those who believe God? The word is used in four ways. Usually, as in Job 1:8, it means “SINCERE”. God’s people are not deceitful, hypocritical, or pretentious. Sometimes, perfect means “MATURE” (James 3:2). That person who has learned to bridle his tongue by the grace of God is a mature believer. He is not a babe in Christ, but a man. Frequently, the word perfect refers to the believer’s POSITIONAL HOLINESS, SINLESSNESS, and BLAMELESSNESS before the law of God by the atonement of Christ and the imputation of His righteousness (Ezekiel 16:14). And the word perfect describes the ultimate GLORIFICATION of all believers in Christ, when we shall be made entirely conformed to the image of Christ in heaven, body, soul, and spirit (Philippians 3:12).